Controlling the Forming of Thermoplastics through Forming Power
Controlling the forming of large thermoplastic parts from a simulation requires very precise predictions of the pressure and volume profile evolution. Present pressure profile based simulations adequately predict the thickness distribution of a part, but the forming pressure and volume profile development lack the precision required for process control. However new simulations based on the amount of power required to form the material can accurately predict these pressure and volume profiles. In addition online monitoring of the forming power on existing machines can be easily implemented by installing a flow rate and pressure meter at the gas entrance, and if necessary, exits of the part. An important additional benefit is that a machine thus equipped can function as an online rheometer that can characterize the viscosity of the material at the operating point by tuning the simulation to the online measurements.